A Quiet Citizen

EqualIt’s been a big week for expressing your opinion on the state of things in our country. With the Supreme Court hearing arguments on Prop 8 and DOMA, lots of people are making their sentiments known via Facebook, Twitter, and other forms of social media. I know in my feeds, an awful lot of people have changed their profile pic to the red equal sign. While my social network isn’t a microcosm of society at large, it does show that things have changed in the past few years.

Of course, there are also those friends who’ve changed their profile pic to a red plus sign, or to a red man and woman. But despite the pictorial tit-for-tat, I’ve not come across any ugly exchanges. In fact, the attitude seems to be detente – each side has stated their case, and the court will decide.

I’m not here to rehash old arguments, nor am I really interested in the issue at all. I think it’s a significant moment in our national history – and I think it likely that the SCOTUS will decide against Prop 8 and DOMA in some shape or form – but personally it doesn’t get me riled up. It actually gives me a headache. Kind of like the Starbucks boycott some people are trying to get off the ground.

So why the post? Well, I’ve been teaching about morality the past couple of weeks. I expected it to be a big deal, a point of discussion for my students that created passionate exchanges and conversations that carried over for days. I pictured a classroom full of gravitas and insight.

Instead, I got a big fat face full of “Eh.”

First, a caveat – I teach this class at 7:30 in the morning, and sometimes it’s all I can do to show up and remain awake. I’m well aware that I’m essentially asking for the moon, but a man with dreams can set his sights high, can’t he? So, the lack of discussion doesn’t exactly surprise me.

What has caught me off guard is that the students I teach don’t labor under the same hindrances as me. Whereas I’m learning a crap ton about what God has to say about morality and its impact and influence on our lives (and how we approach others on matters of morality), my students have a “been there, heard that” look in their eyes that makes me feel like an antiquated dope.

They don’t wrestle with the issue of God’s sovereignty and His authority to determine morality on His terms. They don’t question God’s fairness. They don’t wrestle with legalism or delusions of moral superiority. They understand that their main moral objective is to live obediently, taking a stand with grace and forgiveness when such a stand is called for. They feel no pressure to try and solve the world’s problems; they truly believe that when it’s their turn they’ll do what they can, and trust God for the rest. They wish to be quiet citizens.

And I’m like: dang, dudes. Guess we’ll finish up a little earlier than I anticipated. Good job!

I’m generalizing, of course; there is some push back on certain issues, but for the most part, everyone seems to have the same attitude – that they’ll stand for the Lord when such a stand is necessary, not when someone panics and wants to start a movement. Curiously, they’ve not panicked over the past couple of days. I find that fascinating.

I just saw a Facebook post from Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Seminary, and while I know Dr. Mohler is decidedly pro-traditional marriage, his statement carries much wisdom – a wisdom I find reflected in my students. I leave it with you as a closing statement.

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The Lonely Life (or The Post of 1,000 Tags)

It’s a lonely life in my head. I spend a lot of time thinking, mostly about things, but often enough about stuff that one might affectionately call nothing. Effluvia. Flotsam. Jetsam. Trash. Junk. For example:

Why does the hotel in which I’m currently staying not have a third or thirteenth floor?

Why do people preen in front a mirror, regardless of where they encounter it?

On a scale from 1 t0 10, how embarrassing is it to pass gas on an elevator one floor before another person gets on?

Why can you only hear freight train whistles in the dead of night?

Is America really the land of opportunity, or is that just one heck of a marketing slogan designed to trap desperate people?

What the heck is fair trade coffee, and why are we more worried about that than about lowering the homeless population in the U.S.?

Come to think of it, why will so many people gladly pay $6.00 for a fricking latte, but won’t sponsor a needy child overseas?

How do some people stay motivated in the face of failure?

How do some people live with the knowledge that their biggest dream is likely to never come true?

Can someone satisfactorily explain the following in three words or less: Snooki, Lady Gaga, Channing Tatum, Will Arnett?

If you don’t believe in God, Dr. Dawkins, then why are you so pissed off at Him?

There are good people who live their entire lives without getting a single nice thing written about them somewhere that someone else is likely to read it.

If the hotel is so nice, why do the pillows smell like someone spent a solid hour farting into them?

Insomnia: discuss.

What’s funny?

I think suede is leather that dropped out of school.

Are Apple computers really that much better than PCs, or am I just a schmuck for thinking that?

If so many people think what I write is funny and/or good, why doesn’t someone offer to publish me? Or any of the writers that I know who are really good?

The P.E.T.A. founder is certifiably insane. If you don’t believe me, read some of the provisions in her will.

Why is it that whenever I watch my favorite sports team play they inevitably lose, and when I don’t watch them they inevitably win? Are they trying to tell me something?

George Carlin would have made an outstanding college English professor.

What is luck and why do some people seem to hoard it?

Why do some bottled waters have nutritional information printed on the label? It’s water.

Sometimes the most heroic act in life involves little more than just waking up, taking a deep breath, and getting out of bed.

Single parents, regardless of how they came to be that way, deserve one heck of a lot of respect.

I’ll be completely against gay marriage when Christians who protest against it quit accepting divorce so casually. If marriage is a sacred bond between man and woman, then that bond should last longer than a rerun of Star Trek. Right now, marriage is about as sacred to most Christians as jury duty.

At 12:00 in the morning, I wonder if the only reason alcohol is legal and pot is not is because no one has figured out a successful business model that won’t hack off the drug cartels. I’m completely against legalized pot, but I guarantee you the minute they figure out a way to make hella-profit off of it, Uncle Sam will pass that law.

I’m 35 pages into Infinite Jest (out of 1,079 – and that includes the footnotes), I have no idea what the heck is going on, and yet I’m still loving every minute.

When did we stop caring about other human beings and start caring only for the bottom line? Not just financially, but in everything?

Joan Rivers isn’t funny.

Neither is Adam Sandler.

And yet both continue to make good money being not funny.

Are newspapers dead or are they merely acting like it?

When’s the last time you heard someone say “hornswoggled” in casual conversation? How about “bumfuzzled”? Or “dadblameit”?

Raise your hand if you know what the Southernism “flitter” is a synonym for.

Why will a cat lick itself but then turn away food from a can? It can’t be a matter of taste, can it?

Speaking of matters of taste, why do some people love cheese that, if it were any other food product, should be thrown away for spoiling?

What person in charge of fashion decided that small girls under the age of 15 have to wear clothes that look like Jodie Foster’s old costumes from Taxi Driver? And if we discover who this person is, can we shoot them?

If you pray and pray and pray and pray, but God doesn’t answer, does that mean yes or no or maybe or wait or all of the above?

It’s time for bed. There’s more thinking to be done tomorrow.